September 16, 2002 12:00 PM

By Perri O’Shaughnessy

Page-turner of the week

Can’t a lawyer get a little justice around here? Sure, South Lake Tahoe attorney Nina Reilly left some very sensitive notes in her Bronco overnight, and now that they’ve been stolen, three of her cases are threatening to fall apart. But she’s working hard to protect the cop who could lose custody of his kids, the Laotian couple who are mortally afraid of the people who burned down their business and the pair of young women who seem to have witnessed a murder. Except that the purloined information keeps getting to the wrong people, causing Reilly’s clients so much grief that they decide to make her feel their pain in court.

The sisters O’Shaughnessy—Pamela and Mary, who write under the pen name Perri—need to put themselves on a plot diet: Three different stories are too much for the reader’s plate. But the resolution of Reilly’s malpractice hearing has all the wham-bang legal pyrotechnics of a John Grisham tale. After eight novels Reilly has become both more open—her relationship with her investigator Paul van Wagoner has finally ripened—and more tender as she wonders about the issues in her life. Here’s to a lawyer with as much heart as brains. (Delacorte, $24.95)

Bottom Line: A winning case

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